Bring On The Bots!

Boy, if you want a topic that brings out emotion, start talking about A.I.–artificial intelligence.

I had touched on this topic a couple of blogs ago, but Sunday night’s episode of “60 Minutes” had a great couple of pieces about what Google is doing in that field and their A.I., Bard. Worth tracking down.

Now, I’m excited about the whole concept, despite the fact I know that when I trapped with my family in a pile of rubble, right before the robots take us out, the final words I will hear will be from my wife, saying, “I told you so.”

It’s my feeling that we’re all adults here. That we should be able to hardness this amazing power to make our lives and our world a better place for everyone. You can go to OpenAI right now and see what I mean. And if you want something really fun, go to Dall-E2, the A.I. graphics brain that will create images based on what you tell it to create. There is some fun stuff going on here, folks.

But this past Sunday, while I was watching the final inning of a Los Angeles Dodgers game, my L.A. bums came up to bat and all three outs were from players called out on strikes by balls that appeared outside of the strike zone. You know, that white box that comes up on your TV screen, to try and explain to you why the umpire called that ball a strike. In this case, all three strikeouts came with pitches that were outside of that white box, yet the visually-challenged guy behind the plate caleld each of them ‘strikes’.

I wasn’t alone in my observation.

And for those thinking I’m over exaggerating, some show and tell photos that will help. These are the three called “strikes.”

As I texted my Dodger fan sister (actually, I have two of them), the umpire must have had reservations at a pretty impressive restaurant.

So, ump: shame on you. Major League Baseball: So, what are you going to do about it?

There’s been talk about bringing in computers to help make the calls. I know the concern these days is speeding up the game, but if you keep the humans behind the plate, but allow 3 computer-view appeals per game, that could work. If they appeal and the ump is wrong, the team keeps their three appeals. I think that may force some umpires to be more accurate.

The players need to have the confidence to know that balls will be balls and strikes will be strikes. It’s tough enough to realize your dream, only to be sent down to the minors when you’re called out on strikes too often when, in fact, they weren’t really strikes.

After that game’s shameful display of bad calls, there’s only one thing I’d like to say: Bring on the Bots!

Tim Hunter